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Mark Rothko

FBI: Sotheby's defrauded of $5 million in auction scheme

A fine art consultant in New York and an interior designer in Florida stole an elderly woman's identity and used it to bid millions of dollars on famous paintings and defraud the renowned Sotheby's auction house, federal prosecutors allege in court filings.

Joakim von Ditmar and Antonio DiMarco are accused of using the identity of a wealthy, 80-year-old retiree to place winning bids on two paintings at a Sotheby's contemporary art auction in the fall of 2017.

They snagged an untitled Mark Rothko for $6.4 million and "No. 12" by Ad Reinhardt for $1.16 million.

The pair, though, were quickly found out and never took possession of the art, authorities said....

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